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Letters: Debating Ebola containment policy

The nerve of nurse Kaci Hickox to be upset over being detained because of her exposure to Ebola patients ["Incentives for professionals in Ebola fight," News, Oct. 31].

The White House left us without a secure plan, resulting in our governors having to protect us. Anyone returning to this country who could potentially carry the virus should be happy to be detained not only for their own good but to protect their fellow Americans.

Adrienne Bryant, Northport

All I can say is, thank God for Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo and Chris Christie! It's ridiculous that these two had to come up with the plan to require anyone returning from treating Ebola-stricken patients be quarantined.

No riding the subways, no bowling, no visiting friends or family. This should have been a Centers for Disease Control protocol right from the beginning. This is a very serious situation, and at least these two governors took strong steps.

As Cuomo says, the honor system doesn't work. For Doctors Without Borders to oppose this quarantine is absurd. One of its doctors came back infected despite wearing protective equipment. Explain that!

Marla Posillico, Oakdale

I believe that health experts would agree that to control Ebola, the best policy is to stop it at the source.

No one wants to ban travel to and from West Africa, but why can't we create an Ebola centralized clearance center, through the World Health Organization, to quarantine travelers from West Africa for a waiting period?

With that, the medical staff and others who wish to travel wherever in this world would be safe to mingle with other travelers without fear of contracting or spreading this disease.

Peter G. Kraeker, Hicksville

Some support enforcing an immediate temporary travel ban, preventing entry by people who visited the West African countries afflicted by the Ebola virus. If the government had done this right after Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for Ebola, then Dr. Craig Spencer, who was helping Ebola victims in West Africa, would not have become New York's first diagnosed case.

A travel ban is unprecedented, and health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization do not recommend it. They explain that people coming from West Africa may enter the United States through other means, and the CDC would not be able to track and monitor them for symptoms. That would lead to greater problems and greater fear.

Also, if this ban were implemented, American physicians might not want to help Ebola victims in West Africa because they would not be able to return home. A mandatory 21-day quarantine might also discourage American health care workers from helping in West Africa.

Should we rely on returning Americans to report to an emergency room if they are symptomatic?

Stephanie Tam, Little Neck

I can tell you the reaction I've witnessed on the streets of New York City to the news that there's been a case of Ebola here: meh.

People still take the trains to work, business still goes on, schools still open, lives are led. Nobody is wearing hazmat suits.

The young doctor who was infected with this horrible disease is emblematic of all that is best in America: a person of means, education and privilege risked his safety to make the world a better place. There is no higher ideal. Prayers should and do go out to him and his family.

John Carney, Baldwin

Highlighting honesty in politics

I remember the movie "Bulworth," and I applaud columnist Lane Filler for highlighting the intelligence of this classic film and the need for a transparent political figure ["What if candidates told the truth?," Opinion, Oct. 29].

If only politicians who ran in this election were as honest as the arts.

Joan Nickeson, Terryville

Lane Filler says that "post offices on every corner that people hardly visit" are wasteful. My local post office in Farmingdale is nearly always busy. The staff is very competent and cheerful, and serves us securely, economically and conveniently.

I only wish the post office were open earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Every day the mail arrives in timely fashion at my front door and a letter to my father in Hawaii is no more costly than sending my subscription payment to Newsday. What a wonderful and dependable system!

Eva Dolan, Farmingdale

Social Security increase pitiful

With regard to the 1.7 percent increase in Social Security benefits in January, why bother ["Benefit hikes to stay low," News, Oct. 19]? The increase will be eaten up, for some at least, by higher monthly Medicare premiums.

It's beyond my understanding how we can send billions of dollars to foreign countries, but we can't take of our elderly.

Suzanne Campbell, Levittown